Published: Fri, June 22, 2018
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Apple's Software Update for iPhone Will Locate 911 Calls More Precisely

Apple's Software Update for iPhone Will Locate 911 Calls More Precisely

Later this year, iOS 12 will enable Apple iPhone users calling 911 to securely and automatically share their location data with first responders.

The Chief Executive Officer of Apple Inc., Tim Cook stated that this service was the best technology that was now available anywhere and would help first responders reach their customers when they needed assistance the most. "When every moment counts, these tools will help first responders reach our customers when they most need assistance".

Of course, Apple will stick to its focus on user privacy and none of the date will be shared for any non-emergency goal.

Crucially, Apple has pledged that the location data will only be used in emergency situations and won't be transmitted anywhere other than the responding 911 call center.

This firm is offering an app for use in iPhones, known as RapidSOS Haven, which the users can install and use it for sharing data related to a precise location in their current systems; hence support becomes automatic on their front.

"911 telecommunicators do extraordinary work managing millions of emergencies with little more than a voice connection", said RapidSOS CEO, Michael Martin, in a prepared statement.

Approximately 80 percent of 911 calls come from cell phones, however, which is why it's critical to fix this system. However, getting locations is often hard - the nature of the incident, for instance, might mean the caller can not talk.


The next step occurred today, when Apple said it would add emergency technology company RapidSOS's Internet Protocol-based data pipeline to securely and quickly provide HELO location data to 911 centers.

According to the Apple Press Release, about 80% of 911 calls today are made from mobile devices. Almost 80 per cent of 911 calls come from mobile devices but outdated, landline-era infrastructure often makes it hard for 911 centres to quickly and accurately obtain a mobile caller's location.

Since 2015, Apple has used a protocol called HELO (Hybridized Emergency Location) to estimate a caller's location based on Global Positioning System, cell tower data, and wifi access points.

Sources stated that Apple's 911 feature dependent on technology from a NY startup company, RapidSOS.

“This new functionality is an example of how companies and first responders can use technology to dramatically improve public safety, ” said Tom Wheeler, FCC Chairman from 2013 to 2017.

Meanwhile, LaDonna Coriell, director of the Marshall County E911 Center, told Local 6 that it can take 20 to 30 seconds before a dispatcher knows the location of the 911 caller.

"Answering the 911 call is different than receiving the location", said Paul Troxel, president of CalNena, a nonprofit that advocates on behalf of California emergency dispatchers. Apple unveiled iOS 12 and detailed the software at WWDC 2018 earlier this month.

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